@jdesbonnet - I'd say it depends on what their real intentions are. (A question that must be asked, after all. We are still talking about communitst, no?) Anyway, if they are serious, starting over is exactly what they should do. I'd even go so far as to include reviewing the hardware since all the O/Ss they sight as competition are based on either Von Neuman or RISC architectures.
If not serious, then yeah, make it warmed over Linux and rattle that sabre.
RE: ... it's far from clear how quickly and seriously the Chinese OS will attract local Chinese technology companies whose business is supplying products not only to domestic consumers but to the global marketplace.
I really believe the average FaceBook user could care less whose operating system is inside as long as it works, has no bugs, and is transparent, that is, doesn't require a lot of fiddling to get it to work.
Most Smartphone users don't even want to know there is such thing as an Operating System inside. They just want to send messages and photos with the least hassle.
I remember reading an aricle about computers back in the early eighties and someone with a lot of insight predicted that in the future, computers would be so far embedded into the device, it would be invisible to the user. That time has come.
It's like the computer in your car, or washing machine, or oven, or whatever. You just want it to work and not give you a lot of hassle.
I believe in the future, the OS will no longer be even mentioned. The device will be judged by the overall user experience, not by the operating system. No one will care what makes their appliance work. As long as it works!